Drive (2011)

Should have listened to people when they told me it was one of the best — if not the best — films of 2011. Carey Mulligan was cute, as usual, and Ryan Gosling was surprisingly charming. I say “surprisingly” because I never really thought of him as The Dream Boy every girl (at least according to Buzzfeed articles) makes him out to be.

The story was neatly laid out, well-paced and used no convenient coincidences just to keep the actions going. Certain scenes screamed of tension I don’t usually get even from high-budget action films. No elaborate fight scenes but there were sleek car chases. The silence (when Gosling and Blanche were waiting for Standard to come out of the pawnshop) and the music (“real human being…”) were perfect.

And the movie looked stylish as fuck. Understated but stylish. Ang sosyal pero ang dumi. Like in any interesting film with interesting characters, ironies also pervade the lead guy’s profile — mabuti ba siya o masama? “Are there no good sharks?” ika nga. Ambiguities like this make a character compelling, especially when given justice by the actor.

There was no grand attempt to expose a new facet of LA’s criminal underworld. Even the driver’s moral dilemma is not new in pop culture and in any form of media. It was a mere project on showcasing a story of a guy, part-time stuntman full-time getaway driver, and how he dealt with shit as it avalanched down on him. Boy, was it successful in doing that and more — 1:40 hours definitely not wasted.

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